After pleading guilty to multiple criminal charges last month for leaving the scene of a serious accident he caused last year, two-time NCAA wrestling champ Jack Cuvo was sentenced to serve time in a work-release program Tuesday.
Cuvo, who was a three-time Pennsylvania high school state champion wrestler before winning back-to-back Division I titles for East Stroudsburg University in 1988 and 1989, was sentenced to 3 to 23 months in the work-release center in Dauphin County, Pa. where the accident took place in March 2015. He is to start serving that sentence on Feb. 28.
The wreck took place near the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. during the 2015 Pennsylvania state wrestling championships. Police said Cuvo drove away after crashing his SUV into a vehicle driven by Steven Bennett, who suffered severe injuries, including head trauma. Bennett told the judge he doesn't remember the accident, but has lingering problems, including memory loss and inability to focus.
Bennett told Cuvo, "I hope, Jack, you never experience what I did. But, I hold no grudges about what happened that day."
Cuvo's attorney told the judge his client was returning to the crash scene when he was stopped by police, adding that the accident was not drug- or alcohol-related.
"I'm happy no one died," Cuvo said, apologizing to Bennett. "I panicked because, No. 1, I was in shock," he said. "My goal wasn't to get away. My full intention was to come back."
This incident was just one of many in the past decade for the 48-year-old Cuvo. Just last week, a judge in Northampton County, Pa. rejected a plea deal regarding an alleged incident last summer where the former mat champ had been charged with forcing a teenager to drink alcohol. In that case, Cuvo willing to admit he endangered a 14-year-old boy by driving drunk with the teen last August in Nazareth, Pa., but refused to admit he furnished vodka to the teen. That case is now set to go to trial in April.